Packing essentials for a mini-trip away

suitcase with palm tree

Mia Woolrich

Posted November 16, 2021


The main thing to remember before a mini-trip, is that you only need to pack mini! Think compact and simple essentials in order to pack like a pro. 

Despite our love for travel and the great outdoors, our suitcases have been more than likely only been gathering dust over the past two years than being lugged around some exotic destination. That said, we've missed travelling, and luckily, mini-trips, road trips and staycations are back.

To get the most out of your trip, we all know the key to a successful trip is a little planning, common sense and a well-packed bag.

Whether it’s the chic laneways of Melbourne or the pristine waterways of Mallacoota, it's time to dig out the weekend bag and get packing like a pro!


The interstate flight

  • The bag: First things first - you need the right bag. Most compact wheelie cases will keep you under the airlines' 7 kg carry-on limit.
  • Compact toiletries to breeze through airport security: Most chemists sell varying sets of travel tubes and canisters that you can fill with your favourite products. Better still, dig through your bathroom cabinets and pack those free sample sachets of moisturisers and body lotions that you thought you’d never use.
  • Be weather aware: Check the weather at your destination and know your itinerary. Planning a bush-walk? Bring the necessary weather gear. Sticking to city streets? Think comfortable walking shoes and thin, easy layering pieces. Remember, if you’re staying at a hotel or resort, an umbrella is usually available to guests.
  • Flight essentials: Most airlines don’t offer much entertainment or food on domestic flights these days. In addition to your carry-on case, load up a tote bag or backpack with a good book (colouring book for the kids), a set of cards and a phone loaded up with podcasts and games. Some protein bars, a snap-lock bag of nuts and homemade sandwiches should keep you satisfied mid-flight.
Suitcase with wallet and passport

Make sure to pack only the essentials if all you have is carry on for a mini getaway. Image: Getty. 


 

The city break or romantic staycation

As international and interstate borders have opened and closed intermittently over the past coulpe of years, the 'staycation' has become the new go-to; where you can book a night at a luxurious hotel in your own city. Just getting out of your usual routine and away from the household chores will provide that holiday feeling.

  • The bag: Consider a similar bag to the interstate flight. Struggling with a heavy over-the-shoulder bag in the hotel check-in queue doesn't exactly scream romance.
  • Maxo relaxo: Make the hotel room your little sanctuary. Pamper yourself and your significant other by packing face sheet masks, a travel candle and some luxe bath salts (or skip these and enjoy the spa!).
  • Dress to impress: Take this opportunity to finally try that raved-about restaurant in town, so pack a nice outfit that won’t crease; think nylon, polyester, or knits (and leave the linen at home). If room service is more your love language, don't forget some cozy PJ's. Also, remember to pack a swimsuit and some goggles for laps in the hotel pool.
little girl sitting on a suitcase

Little hands may enjoy helping you pack and getting ready for your mini-getaway! Image: Getty. 


 

Road trip away with the family

  • The bag: Soft bags are great for surviving the family road trip with the kids. A couple of duffle bags and large backpacks should do the trick.
  • The car essentials: Quite often, it’s the things right under our nose that we forget. Driver’s license, sunglasses, refillable water bottles, lip balm, car phone charger, pillows, and tissues should all be on the list. Toilet paper too - not all public toilets are created equal!
  • Adventure ready: Whether you come across a picture-perfect spot for a dip or a bushwalk to a look-out, make sure you’re prepared for the elements and all of Australia’s charming creepy crawlies. Towels, insect repellent, sunscreen, a travel-size first aid kit, and plenty of water and snacks are essential.
  • Pack smart, not hard: Hopping in the car on one of Australia's most beautiful drives might make it easy to pack lazily, but stuffing everything and more into the boot is just going to make for a disorganised mess when you arrive. Staying at a rental home? Check online to see what the house is equipped with. Often basics like a hairdryer, some board games, and extra blankets are already supplied.
  • Comfort is key: Long drives mean comfy clothes. Think layering pieces for the whole family, thongs (or uggs!), and runners. Throw a chunky scarf into your bag too, they’re versatile for folding up into a makeshift car pillow or an extra layer for chilly country nights.

All in all, just like the scouts always said: "be prepared!"

With the right bag, a little research, and the old-fashioned checklist you should be set for an easy, fun, and comfortable trip.

Looking to book a mini getaway?
Members save at RACV Resorts around the country→


More travel advice